Monday, September 24, 2012

Interesting week in India :)

Hello everyone!
So this last week was so weird. Monday and Tuesday were normal as usual, but Wednesday and Thursday were so weird and sucked. Because the Ganesh festival started on Wednesday, we were not allowed to leave the apartment for anything. We did a 5 hour Weekly Planning and then deep cleaned the crap out of our apartment (literally). Then on Wednesday night we had just planned this awesome day for Thursday and Zone Leaders called and said that we would not be going out again. So we were stuck in the apartment all day AGAIN. I wanted to jump off the balcony at one point because it was so boring, but the fall isn't far enough to kill me so I figured it would be less painful just to stay inside. Then on Friday, Elder Taylor and I went on exchange with no tags or ties. Haha it was such a weird day going all day without that stuff. We did pretty good work and were happy with how the day went.
On Saturday, Elder Vaiphei and I traveled to Rajahmundry to pick up some cash to pay our bills! Having no power here in India would suck because it gets so hot and we would have no fans or AC. I would have died. After that, Elder Vaiphei and I had another productive day spreading the gospel and what not. Then....Halfway through my letter, the power went out!! Welcome to India :)  Anyways, Sunday was a big day! I played the piano in Sacrament again! And then we had our meetings and then we had a baptismal service for a family that we taught! I baptized the two sisters and Elder Vaiphei baptized the brother. It was kinda scary, but I handled it like a champ. It was so exciting to see the change that they have made from the first day that we met them to now. They are so excited about being members on the church and it is so fun to be a part of it! I also confirmed the sister we baptized last week! Such a cool day! Then, a family had us over for lunch and it was way good. Prawn Biryani. It was very good. Then, the family next door told us that they prepared a dinner for us and asked us to come over. The difference between us and them is that they feed us until we are about to explode! It was so good, but I thought for the whole way home that I was going to throw up. But I didn't! :)
Anyways....It was a good week here, aside from all the Hindu festivals and the tensions between the Muslims, I count it a very good week. I'm so blessed to be here and I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve the Lord.
Elder Head :) <3

More baptisms

Getting ready

poor little gecko

Ryan's big guns?

Cows...since you can't eat ' might as well tract with 'em!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Kakinada 1st Baptism - September 17

So much happens here in a week and I only have ONE HOUR to think and say everything that happened. Not enough time, but here it goes! Yesterday we had on e of our investigators who had been designated as an "eternal investigator" was baptized! It was so good! My companion performed the baptism and I am going to confirm on this upcoming Sunday. SCARY! Anyways, we should be having three more baptisms from our area this week which is so nice! Our area hasn't had any baptisms for over a month so having these 4 is so good. I had another exchange this week and it is starting to feel like I have 3 companions instead of just one. I had to go with the Zone Leader in my area again because he had to interview our investigators since Elder Vaiphei is the district leader. I really like him, but all of our investigators are starting to become very confused as to who is my real companion. Anyway, that was good and they all passed which was very good and Elder Penumuru (Zone Leader) told us that we did a very good job which was really nice to hear. It is so fun for me to see this family be baptized. I have been here since day 1 with them and I have seen the changes that come into their lives as they accept this wonderful gospel that we have. I also see miracles and I'm just so grateful that I am able to be here.
I am to the point where I slightly gag when I think of Top Ramen and I salivate when I think about eating Biryani or Naans....Haha I love the food here! It is so good! The people here love us so much and so every appointment we go into they always give us some snacks and drinks. I have actually had to refuse cookies and drinks because I am so full all the time. I have truly been changed.
The weather this week was SO HOT. And we have been expecting rain and so it was slowly building all week and the humidity was just through the roof. I was sitting in a home with two fans going and I was still dripping with sweat. But I'm used to it now and everyone thinks one of two things: that it is really funny that Elder Head sweats a lot or that Elder Head is deathly sick and so he needs medical attention. It might be both but I'm not sure :) 
That's okay about the gospel art books.. We can't get them here because they closed the distribution center here so maybe you can send one while I am in Washington DC when I am getting my visa renewed. We will see. 
Interesting news about the upcoming week: there is a huge cricket match this week! hahaha Everyone here loves cricket so much and they think that it is the best sport ever. However, none of them know about American football and therefore do not know how wrong they truly are. Elder Taylor played at Juab and so we talk about football sometimes and that is always fun. Also, there is a big Hindu festival this Wednesday called the Ganesh festival. I have no idea what it is for but all I know is that they push beautiful statues into the ocean. We may have to stay inside for that one, but we will see.
Anyways, I'm so grateful to be here and to be with my companion. Best companion ever. I'm trying so hard to get along with him and the members and I can see the benefits that come from it. Turns out I'm really not that hard to get along with. Who knew? 
I love and pray for you every day! Thanks for being the best! 
Elder Head

PS if you haven't sent the package with the USB music, put Christmas hymns and church Christmas music on it because I want it! 

1st Baptism!  Elder Head, Kakinada Branch's newest member & Elder Vaiphei

We loved the reference in Ryan's letter that he has to go to Washington DC to renew his visa.....WHAT??  WHEN??  So I guess when we find out......a family vacation to DC would be in order :)  I mean he really does need the Gospel Art Books so why not hand deliver them??  Plus Jeff and Mitch have never been to DC :) :)  If only...........

Monday, September 10, 2012

September 10, 2012

This week was a pretty good week! We went to Rajahmundry on Tuesday for Zone Training and we learned/re-emphasized the importance of the Book of Mormon, which was really good. Then, on Wednesday, one of our investigators who believes the church is true, but wouldn't commit to baptism finally committed! It was so good and she already has seen blessings for making the decision! She will be interviewed this week and hopefully will be baptized on Sunday! Even better news, the family that we have been teaching and had committed to baptism on the 16th received permission to be baptized! The father decided that they weren't getting baptized and said they could be baptized if they really feel that our church is true. It was so cool to see a miracle happen and I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father answers prayers. 
Church yesterday was pretty good.. I had to play "If You Could Hie to Kolob" which didn't go bad but it definitely was not the best song I have ever played. It reminded me of Spencer. Unfortunately, that family that had their dates for the 16 showed up late for church and therefore we have to push their dates back to the 23, but I'm still so happy! After they showed up late, we went to their house later and gave a lesson on keeping the Sabbath Day holy and the importance of coming to church on time :) haha it was kind of a guilt lesson, but they need to come to church on time to take the sacrament because that is the whole reason we go to church! We had a baptism on Sunday and Elder Taylor performed it. He went to Snow College and said that he knew Amy Sorensen. His name is Jeffrey Taylor, but I think he went by JJ. 
So far, I have been apart of 4 priesthood blessings in India. The peoples faith here is remarkable. They love Jesus Christ so much and it is so fun when they realize that this church is Jesus Christ's church established on the Earth once again. It's so fun and I'm so happy here. The work is hard, but the days go by so fast. The days here feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. Tomorrow is my month mark in Kakinada! Crazy! I have almost been out on my mission for 3 months! It's so crazy! This week went by so fast, but I'm growing more and more accustomed to being here. I'm starting to really like the food, even though some of it is so hot. I have eaten fish twice so far.. It's so gross! But I've had beef, mutton, chicken, and fish. I'm becoming quite the curry man. And I'm getting really good at eating with my hands. It is so much more difficult than it looks! 
I looked at the pictures, and I can't believe how big Davis is! He is huge! Haha and Mitch looks like a stud in his uniform. So in this surprise package, it would be great to have just a  USB filled with church music and what not. We don't have good speakers for the iPod and the USB would be easier to use. And two Gospel Art Books would be greatly appreciated.. Two because I want one and my companion HAD one, but I accidentally ruined his.. Oops! haha and American candy would be appreciated. Indian candy sucks. Haha well, I don't have anything else to say.. But I love all of you and am so grateful for this work! Have a great week!
Elder Head :) <3

Monday, September 3, 2012

Kakinada - September 2, 2012

We received Ryan's email last night & we were able chat with him for a few minutes :)  This is what we found out from him.  He had to buy a new wallet......rupees don't fit in the money clip as well as he'd hoped :)  P-days are super busy. He shops at a store called Spencer's that has some American food to eat....Top Ramen, Peanut Butter and Jelly, corn flakes and weird milk.  He's lost about 10 pounds since his arrival in India.  His companion loves to cook and is thus deemed the apartment chef. He is loving curry but says that we were eating it wrong in America when we went out for Indian food prior to his departure for his mission. There are 4 Elders that live in the apartment which is nice as Elder Taylor is from here in Utah as well. He loves serving the people in India.  He is so focused and busy that it leaves very little time to think about home...we are so happy to hear this :)  We are hoping that Ryan will begin to include himself in more of his photos :)   

This week was a fairly good week! It's actually been kind of a struggle lately. The main language here in the state of Andhra Pradesh (On-dra Pra-desh) is Telugu and so everyone speaks Telugu, but not everyone speaks English. Unfortunately for me, I speak English, but no Telugu. So when we go out to go knock doors, I usually can't say very much because here in Kakinada isn't exactly a developed town so there are a lot of Hindus who speak no English. So I guess I'll just have to learn Telugu :) haha but we have been struggling with finding investigators that speak English and some of the families that we have been teaching have been struggling with what we are teaching and so it's just been frustrating to not be able to help them. However, we did have many good things that happened this week! We got 3 investigators set for a date on September 16 and they are a really good family, but the dad does not want them to take baptism. So we're hoping that soon we can meet with him and help him see how having the restored gospel of Jesus Christ will bless them and their family. 
My companion left me on Friday to go on Zone Leader exchange in Rajahmundry and so one of the ZL's (mission slang) came to Kakinada and once again, I was in charge of our area! I'm getting more and more comfortable here each day and the members really like me! It's somewhat because of my skin color, and somewhat because I'm a missionary, but I'll take what I can get. Also, being able to play the piano has really increased my popularity. I now have 6 members that want me to teach them to play the piano. Haha it makes me laugh because they think I'm way good, but I can mostly only play with one hand on most songs. And some others want me to help them with English. I'm just so good at everything that I do that they all want my help! ;) 
I'm glad Cole is entering the MTC this week, he will do so good. Be happy with your companion Cole and you will do great! At the same time, I feel sorry for Edward. He is going to get really good at XBOX though while he waits to leave. So there are benefits! Haha well, I've got to get going soon, but I'm so grateful for this work! It's such a blessing to me and I know that it will be a blessing for the people of India. 
I had an "I'm in India" experience yesterday. I saw two little kids holding hands while pooping in the gutter. Welcome to India! :) I love it here! I can poop anywhere and it is totally fine. Haha just kidding! 
Happy birthday on Saturday dad! Eat a piece of cake for me! How old are you now, like 50?  Haha! But seriously, how old are you? I can't remember. Have a good week! 
Elder Head :) <3

Elder Vaiphei - Ryan's comp

District conference in Rajahmundry

Elder Vaiphei

Elder Head's 1st Fast Sunday in India - only 21 more :)

Ryan modeling his "manskirt"